The purpose of this competitive grant is to establish and support a statewide Adult Education Virtual School (AEVS) system branded as MassLinks. All services must be delivered virtually.
The AEVS provider will recruit, intake, orient, enroll, instruct, assess, advise, and offer supportive services and post exit follow up to adult learners who are not served by programs currently funded by ACLS and/or whose need for services are not met by programs currently funded by ACLS.
Additionally, the provider will market, develop, manage, implement, and evaluate the AEVS.
The AEVS will:
assist eligible individuals in attaining a secondary school credential and in the transition to postsecondary education and training, including through career pathways;
assist eligible individuals to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency;
assist immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners— improving their reading, writing, speaking, and comprehensive skills in English; and mathematical skills;
assist eligible individuals who are parents or family members to a) obtain the education and skills that are necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children and b) result in sustainable improvements in the economic opportunities for their family.
ACLS has not yet developed AEVS specific policies. While designed for Community and Adult Learning Centers, the FY19-FY23 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education should serve as a reference guide. The state reserves the right to (1) set policies and requirements to support the purpose and intent of the grant and (2) identify and apply state and federal regulations as needed.
The AEVS system provider will:
manage educational operations and deliver all services virtually to adult students across the state of Massachusetts.
deliver a program design which includes synchronous instruction and asynchronous instruction.
serve ASE students (NRS Levels ABE 5 and 6i). Additional NRS Levels to be proposed by the applicant.
serve a minimum of 50 participants on a monthly basis.
Eligible agencies/organizations that have experience in providing virtual adult education and literacy activities and/or services are eligible to apply.
Eligible Agency: An organization that has provided virtual adult education and literacy activities and/or services may include:
DESE anticipates that approximately $1,000,000 will be available statewide to fund the AEVS through state appropriation.
However, please note, that the final budget award will be based on the providers budget and proposed minimum number of students served, in alignment with the following funding parameters for Community and Adult Learning Centers.
During the current funding cycle, ACLS grants base awards for the provision of services during the academic year (i.e., September to June) based on a cost per student enrollment of between $2,800 and $3,500 for community adult learning center grants. Awards are calculated based on the approved cost per student enrolled multiplied by the average monthly student enrollment (e.g., 50 ABE students + 150 ESOL students = 200 enrollments at $3,000 per student = base award of $600,000). We anticipate upward adjustment to these funding levels in future years due to increase labor and service costs. Accordingly, AEVS applicants that provide sufficient rationale may propose budgets based on a cost per student enrollment up to $4,500.
Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.
The provider selected would operate as a service provider under Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funding whose charge is to provide adult basic education and English language skills acquisition to eligible students.
Eligible students are:
Preferred Student Populations include:
The provider is expected to deliver an educational experience that is of similar or superior quality when compared to adult education in-person learning.
Applicants should use the FY19-FY23 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education as guidance until ACLS has developed policies specific to the AEVS System. Funds must be used to:
Funds may not be used to support in person activities.
Upon approval – 6/30/2022
Grants may be conditionally renewable for two additional years (FY23 and FY24) subject to satisfactory performance and the adult education appropriation of state funds.
Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)
Inquiries may be submitted for posting to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) mailbox through Friday, January 7, 2022 at firstname.lastname@example.org and all answers will be posted to the Adult and Community Services webpage.
Telephone inquiries for assistance utilizing the FAQ mailbox may be directed to the ACLS receptionist at (781) 338-3850.
Prospective applicants are invited to a Virtual Bidders' Conference to be held on:
Friday, December 17, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 971 174 5866
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+13017158592, 9711745866# US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 971 174 5866
Friday, January 28, 2022Proposals must be submitted electronically to the Department no later than 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Statement of Assurances
Part II — Budget Workbook
Part III — Required Program Information
Appendix A — Executive Summary
Appendix B — Job Descriptions and/or Resumes of Instructional and Assessment Staff
Appendix C — Organizational Chart (developed by applicant)
Appendix D — Job Descriptions and/or Resumes of Administrative and Support Staff
Appendix E — Sample Completed Classroom Observation Form (developed by applicant)
College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE)
Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (MA ELPS)
FY19-FY23 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education
Massachusetts Adult Education Assessment Policies
Proposals must be submitted electronically by 5 pm EST on January 28, 2022, via the WizeHive Online Portal.
Applicants will create an account and be able to enter the portal for the RFP. Once you have created a user account and entered the portal, you will be asked to:
Please note that you are presented with two choices at the bottom of the submission webpage: <Save Draft> and <Submit>. Once you choose Submit, you are no longer able to make edits or change the files you wish to upload. Save Draft should be used routinely until you have completed the entire process and are certain you are ready to send your materials submission to us.
Also, please note that the Part II-Budget is an Excel for PC document. Please do not work on this document in Excel for Mac, as it will not render properly, even if you subsequently save the document in a PC environment.
If problems occur while using the portal anytime, or if you encounter technical difficulties with the Budget Workbook after January 7, 2022, contact Paula Jurigian .
Submit a response to all narrative prompts as applicable. (Note: The narrative response may not exceed 50 pages.)
Applicants are required to provide page numbers on every page of the narrative response. All narrative responses must be in a font no smaller than Arial 10 font, with 1" margins on all sides.
Pages that exceed the above page limits will not be reviewed and scored.
Required forms, appendices, and the Budget Workbook are not included in these page limits.
Note: DESE reserves the right to conduct an interview prior to award.
Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipient will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipient will be contacted with further instructions on the process.
i Technical Assistance Guide for Performance Accountability under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act , Appendix B
Last Updated: December 8, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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